How to Install Ice Cream Sandwich ROM on Motorola Droid X

December 31, 2011
37
56
9 36 11

Though released last year, the Motorola Droid X remains well-loved by those who own one. It was a popular phone during its time, although newer and more power Motorola phones have taken over its place. Can such an “old” phone still enjoy the latest and greatest release of Android? Apparently so.

Disappointed by the lack of developer attention to creating an Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich build for the Motorola Droid X, a developer has decided to take matter into his own hands and whip up an ICS-based ROM for the Motorola Droid X. The ROM is called EncounterICS X and is a creation of firstEncounter, a member on the RootzWiki forums. The ROM is based on Android 4.0.1 and is still in continuous development, so there are still numerous rough edges.

For now, however, the following features are already working in the ROM:

  • Radio, Bluetooth, GPS, Wi-Fi
  • 2D (hardware accelerated) and 3D (still somewhat buggy)
  • Sensors (including rotation/accelerometer)
  • Audio (DSP force closes rarely, but still works)
  • SD Card
  • All hardware buttons
  • Charging
  • USB (including SD mounting)

If you have the boldness for a hacking adventure and if you understand the risks involved, you can flash EncounterICS X ROM to your Motorola Droid X. You’re going to need to root your Droid X first. Check out “How to Root Your Droid X Running Android 2.3 Gingerbread” for some tips on how to do that. Thereafter, you can easily flash the ROM in recovery mode. As usual, make sure you make backups first before you try flashing the ROM to your phone.

  1. Download EncounterICS X from here and save it to your computer.
  2. Download the Google Apps package (gapps) from here and save it to your computer.
  3. Copy the EncounterICS ROM and the Google Apps package to your phone’s storage.
  4. Turn off your phone. Turn it back on again.
  5. When the LED notification light turns blue while the phone is booting up, press the Volume Down key to go into the bootmenu. From the list of items on the menu, choose to go into recovery mode. You can use the volume keys to scroll through the options on the menu. Use the Power button to select an item on the menu.
  6. When in recovery mode, you can use the volume keys to scroll through items, but instead of the Power button, use the camera shutter button to select an option.
  7. Choose “Wipe data/factory reset” to clear your phone’s cache.
  8. Choose “Install zip from SDcard”, then select the ZIP file containing the ROM. Once you confirm to start flashing, the process will immediately start. Repeat this step for the Google Apps package.
  9. Wait for a few minutes for the flashing process to complete.
  10. Reboot your phone. Your Motorola Droid X should now be running EncounterICS X based on Android 4.0.1 Ice Cream Sandwich.

As has been mentioned, this ROM is still buggy, so don’t expect everything to work perfectly. There are several known bugs with workarounds. Here are some of the known bugs and their respective workarounds:

  • ADB doesn’t work. Turn off the phone. Turn it back on again. While it is booting up, press the Volume Down key when the LED notification light turns blue. You will be taken to the bootmenu. From there, choose “Boot”, then select “2nd-init + adb” from the list. ADB should now work.
  • SD doesn’t mount over USB. Open Terminal Emulator. Run “su” (without the quotes), then run “echo /dev/block/mmcblk0 > /sys/devices/platform/usb_mass_storage/lun0/file” (also without the quotes). You can also issue the same commands via ADB.
  • Gallery app force closes when gapps is installed. Simply disable the “Sync Google-photos” option for all of your accounts.
  • Android Market doesn’t install apps. As root, issue the command “drmserver &” (without the quotes) in Terminal Emulator. Or, use ADB to issue the command “adb shell drmserver &” (again, without the quotes). The ROM developer has promised a fix for this bug in a newer version of the ROM.
  • Feature XYZ doesn’t work even if the documentation says it does.  Try rebooting the phone.  Some settings and options will activate or stick only after rebooting.  Rebooting can also sometimes make a buggy feature work.

As you can see, installing this ROM to the Droid X is not for the faint of heart, nor will it be a breeze for those with no rooting or flashing experience. Have you tried putting ICS on your Droid X? How did it go?

Comments